When people go to the doctor, they trust they will receive proper treatment. In doing so, they usually go to see a general practitioner at first. However, these doctors do not always have the knowledge that is needed to treat certain symptoms or conditions. It is because of this that they can refer their patient to see a specialist who does have the knowledge to treat them. The failure to refer a patient can cause them further harm and the doctor can be held liable as a result. Continue reading below to learn more.
When is a Doctor Referral Necessary?
When patients go to see their doctor, they establish a relationship. Throughout the course of this relationship, the doctor is required to treat them until one of two things takes place. Either treatment is no longer needed or the patient terminates the relationship. Part of continuing this treatment includes referring the patient if the doctor is unable to provide treatment themselves. This is required under the proper “standard of care,” which is determined by how other doctors would handle the same situation. If another doctor would refer them, the patient’s doctor must do so. If they fail to uphold the standard of care and causes suffering to the patient, the doctor can be held liable as a result.
How Can the Failure to Refer Harm a Patient?
When a doctor does not refer a patient in need, they can cause them further harm. Examples of this can include:
- The condition or illness worsening to the point of being irreversible
- A misdiagnosis of a condition or illness due to insufficient knowledge
- A delayed or missed diagnosis caused by the failure to refer a patient
The failure to refer can also cause fatalities in some cases. In these situations, the family of the deceased can pursue legal action in order to recover compensation for any medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering they incurred as a result.
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If you or someone you know has been wrongly injured, you must not wait. Our firm is ready to help you through each step of the legal process to help ensure you recover the financial compensation you need to move on with your life. We are ready to help–all you have to do is contact Brock & Goetzmann, PLLC today.